GOA Urges Supporters to ‘Stop Schumer’s Gun Control’
“Many Americans have been permanently prevented from purchasing firearms because of a Chuck Schumer amendment — enacted in the early 1990s — that prevents many potential gun buyers from getting their rights restored,” Gun Owners of America notes in a Wednesday action alert. The rights group is urging members and supporters to “contact the House CJS Subcommittee chairman, Rep. John Culberson. Urge him to remove the anti-gun Schumer amendment from the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill — thus, deleting the anti-gun language from federal law.”
Huh? What in the world is that about?
It all starts with the so-called “Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.” That’s the one that “compromised” and horse-traded on the right to keep and bear arms, the one right where the mandate is that it “shall not be infringed.” It was intended to “correct” abuses by ATF highlighted in a 1982 Senate Subcommittee report, and it did that by assuming powers nowhere delegated in the Constitution. Among the “concessions” is the general ban on private citizen ownership of post-enactment (May 19, 1986) machine guns (which some, typically those owning guns with artificially hyper-inflated values, seem to like just fine for some reason).
What did “We the People” get in return? Among other things, a supposed registry prohibition, and supposed “safe passage” to transport firearms while traveling through states that banned their own citizens from such firearms (and we’ve seen how well that’s worked in places like New Jersey). And “we” were also supposed to get the ability — for those who have run afoul of the “law” and are designated “prohibited persons” — to apply for restoration of rights.
An undeniable truth (well, the antis can deny it, but they’d be wrong) is that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. As far as released felons are concerned, if they’re still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his classic “Gun Control,” equating their release with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.
Understand this isn’t an “Arm Charlie Manson” effort. There are plenty of hoops—starting with ATF and ending in federal courts – an applicant must jump through to prove he is no danger to himself and others. Does anyone really think Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby are going to engage in drive-bys?
“For roughly 25 years, the ‘Schumer amendment’ to the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill has prohibited any federal funds from being used to restore anyone’s constitutional rights,” GOA explains. “So for much of this time, if a person were a veteran with PTSD, they’re out of luck. If they had a conviction for a federal regulatory offense — fifty years ago — they’re out of luck. They will NEVER get their guns back, thanks to Democrat Chuck Schumer.”
The amendment has been included annually in appropriations as part of the “compromise” with Democrats – the same politicians who want to restore voting rights to their overwhelmingly supportive demographic of felons. And past appeals to remove it from the bill have been ignored, in large part because most gun owners are unaware of the shenanigans, and too few are committed to turning up the heat and exacting a political cost on Republicans who betray them.
“So please, Congressman Culberson, make the right choice and delete the Schumer amendment from this year’s Commerce-Justice-Science ‘chairman’s mark,’” GOA asks in a representative message intended for members to amplify.
I’d go a step further. I’d let Culberson know that with an “A”-rating from GOA and with an “A+” and endorsement from NRA, I shouldn’t have to be sending polite form mailers asking him to “please” do his job. He’s happy to accept gun owners support and to represent himself as a Second Amendment leader and champion. It’s not too much to expect him to act like one and to vocally lead the charge on this, especially since it’s taking place in his wheelhouse.
He did take an oath, right? And he presumably understands its importance?
I’d also let GOA and NRA know that if they’re going to sell these guys to us, we’re relying on them to make that expectation known as a condition of endorsement.